|Reason for hearing
Violation of Rule 4.05: Prohibited Hours – October 3, 2015.
Violation of Adult Entertainment Rule 9: – Code Compliance – October 3, 2015.
Violation of Rule 3.03(c): Employee Records – September 5, 2015.
Violation of Adult Entertainment Rule 2: Minimum Age of a Dancer – September 5, 2015.
October 3: Baltimore Police Officer Ashley Acord testified that she was helping to close down The Block at 2:00am, like the police do every weekend, when she noticed people inside the bar after the required closing time. She saw numerous patrons still inside with open containers. She told the manager that the bar was in violation of state law. Under cross-examination, she could not remember if the manager gave her an explanation for why there were still customers inside. She remembered that the bouncer outside the bar had given the police some trouble, which is why they decided to go inside. Under questioning later in the hearing, Acord said that the whole Block is cleared and the streets are closed around closing time. Once people leave The Block, they can’t come back until everything is completely clear. Acord said that this is standard protocol, because there are large crowds and a lot of gang problems. She reiterated that there was more than just one patron in the bar when she was there after 2.
Mr. Melvin Kodenski, on behalf of his client, objected to Acord’s testimony, because she did not have identifying information for the patrons who were inside. He called the manager on duty that night, who testified that the bar was having trouble with its credit card machine, which is why one of their patrons was lingering to pay his bill. The assistant manager of the club corroborated the manager’s testimony, that the customer was not drinking but was paying his bill.
Commissioner Trotter asked, “what is the rule? Is there a rule [about prohibited hours]?” Kodenski responded that usually the rule is that customers can’t have drinks in front of them after 2:00am.
September 5: Baltimore Police Detective L.C. Greenhill testified that he was called to the Diamond Lounge by the central district due to an incident at the club. When he arrived, he found a young black woman, a Ms. Jones, who told Greenhill that she had been dancing inside. Jones told Greenhill that a man had approached her to ask for sex while she was dancing, and she was offended by his question, and it escalated into a verbal and physical altercation. Jones said that her birthday was 9/13/97, which would have made her just under the age of 18. Jones claimed that she had been hired by Mr. Marcus Brown, an employee of the bar, to be a dancer. Greenhill was not able to find Brown, because he left the establishment when the police arrived. Brown had a valid arrest warrant. Greenhill stated that he had information that Jones had worked at other establishments on The Block, and he noticed that this bar did not have their employee records in order when he requested them. Greenhill, on cross-examination, said that Ms. Jones did not have identification on her; he took her date of birth from her testimony to him.
Kodenski called the manager a second time. The manager testified that Ms. Jones had never been hired by the club and had been told before that she was not allowed inside, because she did not have ID. The manager said that, on the night in question, she found Jones inside and told her to leave, at which point Jones attacked her, breaking her wrist. The assistant manager agreed; she said that she had never seen Jones before and was not sure how she got into the building. Jones became irate when she was asked to leave, and she attacked the manager.
In his closing remarks, Kodenski argued that the bar employees did the right thing: they defended themselves and removed the girl from the bar. He said, “you don’t have a victim, you don’t have a crime.”